Alexis on the Sexes: Stressed out

ALEXIS MCKINNIS | Updated 8/17/2012

She needs a self-esteem boost, not some guy.

Q: I lost my virginity to a guy I'm obsessed with. He is a passionate, affectionate, witty nerd and very sweet. I am the opposite: no self-esteem, timid, unconfident and very quiet. I am ashamed of myself and embarrassed to speak, and I hide away from the limelight, even in front of my mother, the one person who cares if I exist. We had sex and I made it really awkward, not being as experienced as him, but he was OK with it. Later, I was supposed to see him at a nightclub. He was having trouble getting there and did not know I would be there. I was too drunk to get home and did not want to end up in detox again, and I ended up going home with a random guy but I did not do anything but pass out on his couch. My guy did not like that and quit talking to me. Boom, I am deleted out of his life. He mostly quit talking to me because he knows I am obsessed with and imitate him.

Also, my parents have an arranged marriage planned for me. I just wanted hot sex before I go on to live miserably. I have that horrible obsessive sickness, and I turn every moment/situation weird because of my nervous anxiety. It was his birthday yesterday. I texted him -- he usually ignores my messages, but he called this time! I wimped out and did not answer, thinking he hates me. I need a cure. I hate to obsess over him. I am stressing him and I always apologize for myself. How do I move on or fix this mess I have created? I think of him every day. I hope I do not bore/depress/stress whoever reads this.

--JOY, 21

A: You don't need a cure to get your mind off of some guy -- you need a massive self-esteem overhaul. Everybody, and I mean everybody, is messed up in some way, but it's important that we don't define ourselves by our shortcomings. When you meet new people, how do you want them to see you? Focus on your attributes when people ask you about yourself. Think of problems you have overcome in the past and goals you have achieved. That is the real you, the person trying to push through the negativity. Love yourself and others will love you, too.

Ditch the "friends" who watch you get paddy wagon-drunk and then force you to fend for yourself. A real friend wouldn't stand by while you put yourself in that kind of danger. Friends take care of each other and make you feel good for just being yourself. Do you trust someone in your life, even if it's your mom, to help you build up your self-esteem? One easy thing to do is to say aloud five things you like about yourself, and have the other person tell you five things they admire about you. These can be physical attributes, how passionate you are about certain things, the way you make spaghetti, anything. As long as it's positive, and as long as you do it every day, you'll start feeling more confident.

You're convinced you'll be miserable once you're married, but allow me to offer some hope: I have two friends who are happily divorced from arranged marriages. You may feel like you have no control over your future, but you do. You'll soon have a college degree, with which you can choose your career. You can take a crack at the whole marriage thing for the sake of your family and -- God bless America -- you can get divorced if it turns out horribly. You are young and full of potential, but you just don't realize it yet.

As for the guy you can't stop thinking about, forget about him. The reality -- and this is gonna hurt -- is that he doesn't want to be with you. Confidence attracts other people, be it sexually or platonically. Work on building up your self-esteem and showing others that positive person inside, and you'll find yourself surrounded by great people who like you for who you are.